Africas uptake of drytype transformers set to grow
Already popular in North America and Europe, dry-type transformers will soon be seeing greater take-up in Africa through a more concerted entry and support strategy from global leader Hammond Power Solutions (HPS). According to Andrea Giacometti, Regional Sales Manager of HPS Europe, the company’s recent acquisition of key technology pioneers Euroelettro Hammond and Marnate Trasformatori in Italy has placed the company in a strong position to grow into Asia and Africa. It also acquired PETE in India, a leading manufacturer of power and distribution transformers in Andhra Pradesh.“As the world’s largest producer of dry-type transformers, HPS’s Italian acquisitions have led to a strong technology base in Europe from which we have already expanded into Asia,” says Giacometti. “The technical excellence of our plants in Canada, US, Mexico, Italy and India give us the ability to recommend and apply the right solution for a range of applications and industries.”Marnate, for example, has manufactured dry-type transformers since the 1970s and has been at the forefront of cast-resin technology. As with HPS’s other facilities, it operates at the highest levels of quality and safety, compliant with global standards and certified by international bodies like CESI and TUV.He says HPS Europe is now working closely with Trafo Power Solutions in South Africa to boost its Africa footprint in a strategic and forward-looking manner.“At HPS, we develop our products in line with our customers’ applications and needs,” he says. “The real innovations in this field are not just the technology itself, but the way we apply these technologies with our customers. We work with our customers to find solutions.”David Claassen, Managing Director of Trafo Power Solutions, highlights that flexibility is the focus in the way that both HPS and Trafo approach their work. “The application will determine the enclosure design and the transformer design,” says Claassen. “In our modus operandi, ‘one size fits all’ definitely does not apply.”In fact, Trafo Power Solutions does not see itself as simply a distributor of products. In line with the approach that HPS has always adopted, it is a solutions-driven company.“We work with customers to engineer technically appropriate and proven solutions for their applications,” he says. “HPS has longstanding experience in a host of technologies, which matches well with my experience in working with various sectors and applications around Africa.”Responding to the trend towards greater use of renewable energy, HPS Europe has developed several dry-type transformers for renewable energy markets such as photovoltaic, wind and biomass co-generation. Already, their impregnated transformers and inductors are installed in many inverter cubicles used in the conversion of wind or solar energy. “This will most certainly be a growth area for Trafo Power Solutions in Africa, as we see growing investment in energy generation from renewable sources,” says Claassen. “Renewable energy is a very demanding application for any transformer; ambient temperatures tend to be high and the environment is often dusty. These transformers supply a 100% non-linear inverter load that is high in harmonics.”This requires high levels of technical capacity and experience in terms of structural design, heat dissipation and electrical characteristics specification. Trafo Power Solutions is well placed to take advantage of these opportunities as HPS has already supplied hundreds of units into these conditions.Among the core benefits of the dry-type transformer design is its safety and cost-effectiveness. Due to the absence of oil as a coolant, the dry-type transformer is simple and safe, allowing it to be installed indoors without its own civils infrastructure.